There are few things more basic to life than growing your own food. However, you can become overwhelmed when plans are too grandiose. Start with a small, simple vegetable garden that has room to grow through the years. For your first attempt, use vegetable seeds that will produce food you already know you like. Later, you can experiment with vegetables you've never had but would like to try.
Draw a map of your vegetable plot and decide where each vegetable will be planted. Taller plants, such as corn and pole beans, should be planted on the south or north side of the garden where they won't cast shadows on shorter plants. Make sure the row spacing is correct by checking the suggestions on the back of the seed packets.
Remove all weeds and other debris in the area.
Use a shovel or pick to dig up the area and turn the soil to allow the seeds to germinate and grow roots easily.
Mix compost into the worked soil. Compost will help clay-based soil drain water more easily. It will help a sand-based soil retain more water. It also adds valuable nutrients that vegetable plants feed on.
Use a hoe to dig into the soil to make a line, letting the dirt fall to the inside. Make a parallel line, in the same manner, about a foot from the first line (or as recommended by the seed manufacturer), also letting the soil fall to the center. The two lines will act as motes for watering your vegetable plants.
Repeat Step 5 for the rest of the rows in your vegetable garden.
Sprinkle the garden rows, but don't over water. You just want a moist soil for planting.
Place the seeds at the depth and spacing recommended by the seed manufacturer for each type of vegetable seed, onto the top of the raised soil row. They will all be different. Cover each seed hole with soil.
Sprinkle water over the seeds, gently, to keep the soil moist. Continue to water your seeds, in this manner, until the vegetable seeds germinate (sprout through the soil). At the time of germination, begin adding water to the motes. This will encourage vegetable plant roots to grow downward. Soon you will have lush green plants and a harvest full of vegetables.